Egypt can bring in­vest­ments worth $6bn in re­new­able en­ergy un­til 2022: Amen

The Daily News Egypt - - Front Page - By Mo­hamed Farag Why was IRENA es­tab­lished?

POL­ICY STA­BIL­ITY, EASE OF REG­U­LAT­ING LEG­IS­LA­TIONS, HIGH­LIGHT WHAT IN­VESTORS NEED MOST

Ad­nan Amen’s visit, the di­rec­tor gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional Re­new­able En­ergy Agency (IRENA), to Egypt, shows that Cairo is still at­trac­tive for in­vest­ments and has many promis­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to achieve a break­through in elec­tric­ity and new and re­new­able en­ergy pro­duc­tion.

Daily News Egypt in­ter­viewed Ad­nan Amen in or­der to talk about his view of the in­vest­ment cli­mate in Egypt, and the way he sees new and re­new­able en­ergy projects cur­rently im­ple­mented, as well as the re­quire­ments needed dur­ing the up­com­ing pe­riod in or­der to ex­pand projects.

He be­lieves that the MENA re­gion has been tak­ing slow steps in the field of re­new­able en­ergy, how­ever, the de­vel­op­ments were quick. Egypt is one of the quick­est coun­tries to de­velop in the re­gion at the pre­sent time, the tran­script for which is be­low, lightly edited for clar­ity:

How do you as­sess new and re­new­able en­ergy projects in Egypt?

Egypt is a very promis­ing mar­ket for in­vest­ments thanks to the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship which has adopted an am­bi­tious plan for elec­tric­ity pro­duc­tion from re­new­able sources, and re­duced the re­liance on tra­di­tional fuel in pro­duc­tion plan— a trend that many coun­tries have adopted in or­der to achieve sus­tain­abil­ity.

Is Egypt suc­cess­ful in the new and re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor?

The so­lar en­ergy projects im­ple­mented in Ben­ban, Aswan, have been im­ple­mented with in­vest­ments worth $2bn. They are im­por­tant steps and Egypt can dou­ble these in­vest­ments up to $6bn by 2022.The in­vest­ments may ex­ceed that as the number of projects in­crease.

Egypt en­joys abun­dant sun­shine in many ar­eas and has sub­stan­tial po­ten­tial, which en­ables it to re­duce the cost of pro­duc­ing elec­tric­ity, and pro­vid­ing mil­lions of dol­lars with its abil­ity to take en­ergy pro­duc­tion to 53% of the to­tal elec­tric­ity pro­duced from re­new­able en­ergy sources by 2035.The Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment is work­ing hard to meet the grow­ing de­mand on elec­tric­ity,as the to­tal in­stalled ca­pac­ity from re­new­able sources is es­ti­mated to be 3,900MW of wind, so­lar and hy­dropower en­ergy up un­til now.

What mea­sures does Egypt need to take to be­come a re­gional en­ergy cen­tre?

Egypt’s po­ten­tial of re­new­able en­er­gies is enor­mous, and the gov­ern­ment is mov­ing quickly to­wards ac­cel­er­at­ing its util­i­sa­tion.Based on the achieve­ments al­ready made,Egypt would have a chance to in­crease its am­bi­tions and be­come a re­gional cen­tre for en­ergy as well as in­crease in­vest­ments.

At­tract­ing these in­vest­ments re­quires sta­ble pol­icy frame­works, in ad­di­tion to sim­ple reg­u­la­tions that pro­vide clar­ity and con­fi­dence.Ad­di­tion­ally,in­vest­ments in re­new­able en­ergy not only meet the grow­ing needs for en­ergy, but also help en­hance eco­nomic growth, gen­er­ate jobs, and de­velop lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing.

What are the lat­est de­vel­op­ments of the‘Clean En­ergy Cen­tre in Africa’?

I dis­cussed with Pres­i­dent Al Sisi the ‘Clean En­ergy Cen­tre in Africa’, and the re­sults of this trend are deemed huge, and can serve as one of the cen­tral con­cepts of Africa’s eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion to­wards the fu­ture, re­ly­ing on clean en­ergy, whether so­lar, wind or earth-core en­ergy.

Right now, the world is see­ing great and rapid changes in the field of elec­tric­ity and en­ergy.This change will have a great im­pact on the pro­duc­tion,dis­tri­bu­tion and trade of elec­tric­ity in the fu­ture.

Cur­rently,we are look­ing at the geopo­lit­i­cal changes in terms of pipe­lines, oil ship­ping and re­lated strate­gic is­sues. In the fu­ture,the fo­cus will be more on gen­er­at­ing, pro­duc­ing and dis­tribut­ing en­ergy, through the bor­der via clean cor­ri­dors, all of which would have a pos­i­tive im­pact on all the co­op­er­at­ing com­pa­nies, with Egypt be­ing the most prom­i­nent.

How do you see the re­duc­tion in the prices of com­po­nents and costs of re­new­able en­ergy?

The sig­nif­i­cant de­cline in re­new­able en­ergy costs in recent years has en­cour­aged gov­ern­ments around the world to re­con­sider en­ergy strate­gies so as to bet­ter re­flect the new eco­nom­ics of re­new­able en­er­gies.

The main rea­son for the low costs is due to the huge de­vel­op­ment of the tech­nol­ogy used to man­u­fac­ture so­lar cells and wind tur­bines.

IRENA was es­tab­lished in 2009 by 75 coun­tries, with 170 mem­ber coun­tries. It is an in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion to en­cour­age the re­liance on re­new­able en­ergy world­wide. IRENA aims to sup­port coun­tries in their trans­for­ma­tion to a sus­tain­able fu­ture for en­ergy,as well as a main plat­form for in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion and a cen­tre for poli­cies,tech­nol­ogy, fi­nan­cial re­sources, and knowl­edge in the field of re­new­able en­ergy. It pro­vides a group of ser­vices, in­clud­ing an­nual re­views of re­new­able en­ergy em­ploy­ment, sta­tis­tics, cost stud­ies, and readi­ness as­sess­ments con­ducted in part­ner­ship with gov­ern­ments and re­gional or­gan­i­sa­tions to help pro­mote re­new­able en­ergy de­vel­op­ment which is coun­try-spe­cific.

What is your vi­sion of the re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor?

We seek to achieve sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and reach en­ergy se­cu­rity as well as low-car­bon eco­nomic growth, in ad­di­tion to fa­cil­i­tat­ing the ex­change of knowl­edge and tech­nol­ogy trans­fer in or­der to pro­vide clean and sus­tain­able en­ergy.IRENA aims to be the main driv­ing force in pro­mot­ing the rapid tran­si­tion and sus­tain­able use of re­new­able en­ergy on a global scale.

Ad­nan Amen, the di­rec­tor gen­eral of the IRENA

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